Risk Factors of Drug and Alcohol Overdoses Inform Prevention and Treatment Services in Orange County
Method: We analyzed hospitalizations as well as death records matched to data obtained from Coroner-investigated deaths between 2011 and 2013.
Findings: Roughly 45% of the nearly 600 annual overdose deaths were due to alcohol, while 55% were drug-related. Of drug-related overdoses, a large proportion of deaths were due to prescription medication misuse, often opioid pain relievers in combination with other substances. Additionally, roughly 60% of all overdoses were due to substance-related poisonings, while 40% were the result of a chronic substance use disorder. Importantly, 85% of the 5,400 annual overdose hospitalizations involved a mental illness diagnosis. Those most at risk included men, adults between the ages of 45-54, Non-Hispanic Whites, and those living along the more affluent coastal regions of the county.
Implications: The Health Care Agency offers several education, treatment and counseling services aimed at reducing the misuse and abuse of substances. Identifying those most at risk is essential to reducing the number of drug and alcohol poisonings and deaths.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
List the potential risk factors that contribute to a substance-related overdose or poisoning.Demonstrate an understanding and be able to explain what demographic groups are more likely to succumb to a drug- or alcohol-related overdose. Identify potential prevention or treatment efforts necessary to reduce substance-related overdoses.
Keyword(s): Drug Abuse, Alcohol Use
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal investigator of multiple locally and federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of substance abuse, birth and fetal death prevention and outcomes, and co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders. Among my research interests has been to investigate the underlying influence of resiliency in preventing substance abuse, as well as the influence resilience has on social and environmental outcomes. This information helps to inform treatment and education efforts in the county.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.